Ferritin is a measure of total body iron stores and levels below 12 indicate seriously deficient or absent stores. Results between 12 and 20 suggest reduced stores. Iron stores are often marginal in infancy, adolescence and in women during their child-bearing years, especially if diet is deficient. At other times they should prompt a search for sites of blood loss (see Iron for more detailed discussion). In the presence of inflammation, which elevates ferritin, an iron-deficient person may have a normal result despite their lack of iron.
A raised ferritin is not uncommonly found with no immediately obvious explaanation. If the fasting iron saturation is above 50% the HFE gene should be tested as a marker for haemochromatosis (refer to the Haemochromatosis page in Molecular Genetics, for the indications for genetic testing in patients suspected to have Haemochromatosis). If no explanation is found, ferritin should be checked at least annually with appropriate follow-up of clinical developments.
Can be added on to an existing request up to 4 days following sample receipt
25 daysSpecimen Labelling Procedure